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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Frontier Horizon [Blu-ray]

 

(George Sherman, 1939)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Republic Pictures

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 0:55:26.323

Disc Size: 10,954,162,189 bytes

Feature Size: 10,862,678,016 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 22nd, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 831 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 831 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The Three Mesquiteers was the umbrella title for a series of fifty-one B-westerns released between 1936 and 1943. The films featured the characters Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin as the threesome, played by many B-western stars of that era. In 1938, John Wayne took over for Robert Livingston as Stony Brooke and starred in eight Mesquiteers films between 1938 and 1939, he was joined by Ray Corrigan as Tucson Smith and Max Terhune as Lullaby Joslin for the first six and Raymond Hatton as Rusty Joslin for the last two. all eight films were directed by George Sherman (Big Jake). John Ford's Stagecoach was perfectly sandwiched between the eight films and John Wayne portrayal of the outlaw gunfighter, The Ringo Kid, made him a superstar and ended Wayne's Stony Brooke run. Livingston was rehired as Brooke and went on to make fourteen more Mesquiteers films and for an incredible total of twenty-nine. In Frontier Horizon aka New Frontier (the final Wayne Mesquiteers film) - planning to build a reservoir on the site, the state government has condemned the town of New Hope and surrounding ranches. The state intends to compensate the landowners fairly, but a crooked real-estate promoter has different plans. The landowners lead by our three heroes ride into action, fighting back against the state and the crooks. Featuring Jennifer Jones (Duel in the Sun) in her screen debut, billed under her real name of Phyllis Isley.

 

 

The Film:

It might be surprising for some people to hear this, but despite the fact that Stagecoach came out in March of 1939, John Wayne’s next four movies were a series of Three Mesquiteers vehicles for Republic Pictures. So, despite starring in a big-budget epic directed by John Ford, and released by United Artists. The Duke still found himself back in front of George Sherman’s camera playing Stony Brooke again. The Three Mesquiteers movies were big money makers for Republic, but b-westerns being the exploitive medium that they are, Republic certainly weren’t going to let a star like Wayne get away from them anytime soon, at least not as long as they could keep him under contract. All of that said; this movie did officially mark the Duke’s farewell to the Three Mesquiteers series.

Excerpt from Epinions located HERE

The state government plans to build a flood-control dam and condemns the property of the local farmers and ranchers, including The Three Mesquiteers. The state intends to compensate the land-owners fairly, but a crooked real-estate promoter complicates things. The ranchers, led by Stony Brooke ('John Wayne'), Tucson Smith ('Ray Corrigan') and Rusty Joslin (Raymond Hatton) fight back against both the law and the crooks.

Excerpt from Les Adams at IMDb located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

We've reviewed a few of these hour-long, early 'Duke'  B westerns from Olive before; "Red River Range", "Three Texas Steers", "King of the Pecos" and "The Night Riders".  Frontier Horizon aka New Frontier (not to be confused with The New Frontier directed by Carl Pierson in 1935 and also starring 'The Duke') is another of the 'Three Mesquiteers' western adventures and seems to follow the same Blu-ray transfer.  The source condition must have been quite strong as this looks quite good. Improved contrast levels from SD, very few speckles and no undue damage. There is some nice layered contrast and I can't imagine that it looked much better originally. There is even some depth exported by the 1080P. This is one of the better of this series in terms of video presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio comes in the form of a DTS-HD Master mono track at 824 kbps. Hollow but with audible dialogue. Limitations are directly due to the source production and they aren't too cumbersome. There are no subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

None - not even a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Cool - a young Jennifer Jones! The hour-long one-dimensional western is like a short novel. Details are sparse but you can quickly tell the good from the bad, where the budding romances are, and where the major conflict will arise. My complaint remains - with the puny file size four of these 4-reelers westerns could have snugly fit on one lone Blu-ray disc - making for a more reasonable price. Now that would have been cool to own a dozen of these in one 3-disc Blu-ray package. Vintage western fans will enjoy. 

Gary Tooze

January 17th, 2013

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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